Celebrity Breakups That Left Us Heartbroken In 2021

2021 has been quite the colossal year for breakups, and not just for us everyday humans. A-list celebs have been filing divorce papers left and right as well (we're sure the pandemic didn't help anything). And since 2021 has been the longest year since, well, 2020, there have been quite a few high-profile splits that even we forgot about. Kim and Kanye? Unbelievably enough, that was this year.

As if we didn't already have enough news bringing us down, the sheer number of star-studded breakups this year may have been enough to finally convince us that love is really and truly dead. Of course, we couldn't possibly have time to go through every celebrity couple that called it quits in 2021, so we have listed only the ones that left us particularly heartbroken.

Let's get started, shall we? We'll be waiting here with a box of tissues when you're done.

Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid

When Zayn Malik, formerly of One Direction, and Gigi Hadid, formerly of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, first got together in November of 2015, nothing could have seemed more natural. They were both young, chic, and ridiculously attractive. And did you see the steam coming from Hadid's appearance in Malik's "Pillow Talk" music video? Sadly, after six years, one temporary breakup, and the birth of one child, Malik and Hadid called it quits for good (as of this writing) in October of 2021, sources confirmed to People.

Hadid and Malik's breakup was one of the more troubling splits this year, coming after Hadid's mother, Yolanda Hadid, reportedly considered filing a police report against Malik after he allegedly struck her during an argument. Malik "adamantly [denied]" the claim in a statement to TMZ, and in a statement posted to Twitter, the singer wrote, "This was and still should be a private matter," calling for healing for all involved.

John Mulaney and Anna Marie Tendler

Shortly after his 60-day stay in rehab, sources confirmed to Page Six that beloved comedian John Mulaney was filing for divorce from his wife, Anna Marie Tendler. This was heartbreaking enough for Mulaney's many fans, but little did they know that the saga was just beginning. Soon after the divorce was confirmed, news broke that Mulaney was now dating Olivia Munn, who was also pregnant with his child, per Us Weekly.

But we're not done. Just a few months later, rumors began to swirl that Mulaney and Munn had also broken up, originating from an Instagram post by the celebrity gossip Instagram page, Deux Moi (via The Cut). As of this writing, a breakup has not been officially confirmed, though unnamed "friends" of the couple told Us Weekly that they don't see the two together long term.

But while Mulaney is still on his wild romantic ride, Tendler appears to be doing just fine on her own, if her Instagram page is to be any indication. 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

No seriously, that was this year. We should have known that 2021 was going to be a rough year for celebrity breakups if it began with the all-mighty Kimye. We all of course remember how the Kim Kardashian and Kanye West romance began, as we all watched it unfold on "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." But after seven years of marriage, Page Six confirmed in January of 2021 that Kardashian was "done." An unnamed source told the outlet, "They are keeping it low-key but they are done."

The split came on the heels of some very public mental health issues for West, whose erratic tweeting and interviews had drawn concern from the public. He had even tweeted at one point, "I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek at the Warldolf [sic] for 'prison reform'" (via E!).

Now, Kardashian has been drawing all the headlines for another relationship — with "SNL's" Pete Davidson, per Us Weekly. We know, we haven't gotten used to the idea either.

Grimes and Elon Musk

We admit we were a little surprised when musician Grimes and spaceman Elon Musk first got together. But after seeing their relationship unfold over three years, we grew to believe in their unique brand of coupled-up weirdness. Where else are you going to find two people who will agree to name their son X Æ A-Xii?

Tragically, Page Six reported in September that Grimes and Musk had broken up. Sort of. "We are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently and are on great terms," Musk told the outlet. In fact, the singer hadn't even moved out of the house. "It's mostly that my work at SpaceX and Tesla requires me to be primarily in Texas or traveling overseas and her work is primarily in LA. She's staying with me now and Baby X is in the adjacent room."

That doesn't sound like "broken up" in the traditional sense. But hey, look at who we're talking about.

Scott Disick and Amelia Hamlin

Not to sound mean or anything, but did this one come as a surprise? When Scott Disick and Amelia Hamlin started dating, he was 37-years-old and still not over Kourtney Kardashian, while Hamlin was 19-years-old and still at the beginning of her modeling career (and adulthood). Her mom, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Rinna, was obviously not a fan of the relationship from the beginning, saying on the show (via People) that she believed it was just a "phase" and that she was trying not "to bring attention to it." In another episode, she even joked, "Like, why can't it be Harry Styles? Why the f*** is it Scott Disick?" (via People).

Luckily for Rinna, the relationship was not meant to be. The couple broke up after Kardashian's other ex, Younes Bendjima, leaked some DMs sent by Disick trashing Kourt, per BuzzFeed. Fans immediately began speculating that the messages, which seemed to indicate that Disick was still very much pressed about Kourtney, contributed to the breakup. On the "RHOBH" reunion, Rinna all but confirmed as much, saying that Hamlin instigated the split and that the DMs weren't "helpful."

La La and Carmelo Anthony

We always knew that La La and Carmelo Anthony had their ups and downs over the course of their 16-year marriage, but that didn't make it any less of a downer when we read the news that they had divorced for real in January of 2021. A source told Us Weekly, "They have been separated for a while now and will remain friends ... They both want to make sure that the divorce goes as smoothly as possible for their son."

This split hits hard for a lot of reasons, and one of them is that fans — millennials specifically — watched their relationship from the beginning, including their televised wedding in 2010. But this means we've also watched them go through all those bumps in the road, including a temporary breakup in 2017 and cheating rumors in 2019. Things seemed back on the right track in 2020, when La La told Access Hollywood, "It's actually been smooth sailing."

We're sad to see it come to a final end.

Bill and Melinda Gates

We have to admit that we did not have a Bill and Melinda Gates divorce on our 2021 bingo card — so we guess that's on us. The billionaire couple announced in May that they would be getting a divorce, releasing a joint statement on their individual Twitter accounts that read, "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," continuing, "We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives." The couple had been married for 27 years, according to CNN, and first met in 1987 when Melinda joined Bill's company.

The divorce inspired internet-wide conversation and speculation, including a possible minor shock to the stock markets. But it also uncovered several previously unknown details. For one thing, per The New York Times, it turns out the couple was possibly even more ridiculously wealthy than we thought, but definitely more secretive about where, exactly, their assets were stowed. We also learned more than we maybe wanted to learn about Bill's romantic proclivities, including an affair he had with an employee five years after he and Melinda got together (via The Washington Post).

Jana Kramer and Mike Caussin

Considering all the issues Jana Kramer and Mike Caussin had from the very beginning (namely, Mike's inability to stop himself from cheating on Jana), the fact that they're getting a divorce is probably best for everyone involved. As Us Weekly reports, Kramer and Mike first got together in 2015, split up briefly after Caussin cheated, then got back together and got married. But just a few years later, Us Weekly reported that Caussin had had multiple affairs and so was getting treatment for sex addiction.

As you might have guessed, that didn't seem to take, and Kramer filed for divorce in 2021 after almost six years of marriage. Writing to her fans on her Instagram, the singer explained, "I've fought y'all. I've loved hard. I've forgiven. I've put the work in. I've given everything I have, and now I have nothing else to give ... I just can't fight any longer. It's time to heal. Thank you for all the love, heart, and support, in many ways you have fought on this journey alongside me, and for that I am grateful. I'll always encourage you to continue the good fight, but you can't fight it alone."

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez

Much as we might have loved the poetic symmetry of their nicknames, we have to stand by our girl Jennifer Lopez in her decision to end her engagement to Alex Rodriguez in April. In their official joint statement (via People), the couple announced, "We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects." This sounds pleasant enough but, as with every relationship, there's obviously more to the story.

People later reported that multiple sources confirmed that it was Lopez who initiated the breakup, and a lot of it had to do with trust. "She insisted on it. There are too many issues that are unresolved," said one unnamed friend. Another claimed, "whether or not he has cheated doesn't matter. She won't tolerate the fear of it in the air between them."

Breaking up may be hard to do, but Lopez at least seems to have come out on top, reuniting with her ex-fiancé Ben Affleck and igniting a thousand celebrity blogs.

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas

We know it's wrong to laugh at other people when they're sad and we're definitely not taking joy in Ben Affleck's pain when he and actor Ana de Armas ended their one-year-ish relationship. However, we are human and as such we simply could not help laughing just a teensy little bit when an Ana de Armas stan Instagram account (via Vice) caught someone throwing a life-sized Ana de Armas cardboard cut-out in a dumpster outside Ben Affleck's home. Just — so many questions.

When it comes to why the couple broke up, we fortunately do have a little more information, though it is way more mundane than the cardboard cut-out would seem to suggest. Affleck and de Armas first met in early 2020 while filming "Deep Water," according to People, and broke up in January of 2021 because of boring old, stages-in-life reasons. A source told People, "She broke it off. Their relationship was complicated. Ana doesn't want to be Los Angeles based and Ben obviously has to since his kids live in Los Angeles," and continued, "This is something that was mutual and something that is completely amicable." The unnamed insider said they were simply at different points in their lives.

Maybe Affleck will get a life-sized cutout of J.Lo, instead.

Christine and Kody Brown

It appears that Kody Brown of "Sister Wives" fame is down by one (maybe two) wives, as Christine Brown announced in November that she was leaving the marriage. Writing on her Instagram, Christine explained, "After more than 25 years together, Kody and I have grown apart and I have made the difficult decision to leave. We will continue to be a strong presence in each other's lives as we parent our beautiful children and support our wonderful family. At this time, we ask for your grace and kindness as we navigate through this stage within our family."

Though trouble in paradise(s) had already been teased on the show, most of us assumed that first wife Meri would be the first to officially leave, so it was a little shocking. According to an unnamed source speaking to Us Weekly, Christine's decision to leave actually inspired the others to "reevaluate" their own relationships with Kody. Could this mean that Kody might actually find himself single in a few years? Who knows.

Elliot Page and Emma Portner

Though they technically broke up over the summer of 2020, Elliot Page didn't actually file for divorce from his wife Emma Portner until late January, which is also when the news broke. In the joint statement (via Page Six), the former couple wrote, "After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce following our separation last summer."

Page and Portner may no longer be "in love," but that doesn't mean there isn't still love between them, which there clearly is. After Page came out as transgender (which we now know was after the two had separated), Portner wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post, "Trans, queer and non-binary people are a gift to this world. I also ask for patience & privacy but that you join me in the fervent support of trans life every single day. Elliot's existence is a gift in and of itself. Shine on sweet E. Love you so much" (via Page Six). Oof. That one was a real tear-jerker.